Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ongoing Update-The Jena Six

***For summary/analysis of the circumstances surrounding the Jena (Louisiana) Six, read this by the Friends of Justice. ***

***From the Alexandria Town Talk (6/27)***
JENA -- The prosecution and defense rested their cases today in the trial of Mychal Bell, 17, charged with aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit the same in connection with a Dec. 4 fight at Jena High School.
If convicted on the charges he now faces, Bell could be sentenced to as many as 30 years in prison.
The trial resumes tomorrow. Bell's attorney called no witnesses. Is that strange?

***Update from the Alexandria (LA) Town Talk (6/26)***
All-white jury selected in Bell trial

JENA -- An all-white jury of five women, one man and a female alternate was selected today in the trial of Mychal Bell...
This gives me a sick feeling.

***Update from the Monroe (LA) News-Star (6/26)***

Until Monday, Bell, Shaw, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis and Robert Bailey Jr. had all been charged with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit the same crime. Those charges remain for all of the boys except Bell, who also faces a conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery.

There is also an unnamed juvenile charged, whose court records aren't public.
This contradicts what I read on the Friends of Justice blog, so I will have to do some more digging once I get off. The original post and updates are below. ***From what I've read in other papers, I believe only Bell's charges have been reduced.***

Two of the black students are to go on trial Tuesday on the charges, which supporters say are way out of line.

"The detective investigating told me it would be simple battery," Bailey said. "My son has never been in trouble before. He's never done anything wrong, now he's facing this. How can that be?"
The two facing trial this week are Theodore Shaw and Mychale Bell. Robert Bailey Jr., Bryant Purvis and Carwin Jones face trial on the same charges, but no date has been set.

Shaw and Bell, have been jailed since their arrests, unable to make $90,000 bond.

More from the Times-Picayune (6/25).

***Update from Alexandria's Town Talk (6/25):

JENA -- LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters this afternoon reduced the charges faced by Mychal Bell -- one of the six Jena High School students charged in a Dec. 4 fight at the school -- to second-degree aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit second-degree aggravated battery.

He, along with five other students charged in the fight -- together called the Jena Six -- had faced charges of attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder.

Earlier this morning, a plea agreement for a lesser charge was turned down by another member of the Jena Six, Theodore Shaw, who is on trial this week in the courtroom of 28th Judicial District Court Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr.

Shaw's attorney, Tim Shumate, tried to persuade him to plead guilty to aggravated assault, a felony, against the wishes of Shaw's father, Theodore McCoy.

"We are confident to go to trial," McCoy said. "They are trying to avoid trial because they don't have a case."

An ***Update*** from the Friends of Justice blog (6/25):

So this case goes to trial, beginning with jury selection tomorrow. All defendants now face the reduced charge of aggravated assault.
But aggravated assault is still a felony charge, and even if the defendants escape with probated sentences their lives will never be the same. Any minor slip-up could land them behind bars. A college education will become illusive because felons are denied all forms of federal assistance. Most decent jobs are unattainable for felons. And so it goes. We are calling the District Attorney to drop the charges to simple battery–the same charge filed against the boy who attacked defendant Robert Bailey at a dance short days before the incident at the school. Then there is the issue of the all-white jury that will almost certainly be selected tomorrow. We aren’t where we need to be, but we have traveled miles from where we were when this fight began–and in the right direction.
This is what worries me, as well. I see this all the time, everyday--young men who are deemed "unemployable" because of a felony conviction. In my area (here) about the only places they can go for work are the poultry processing plants. If they can't hang with the work there...

The post also mentions that "CNN will broadcast its Jena feature on Paula Zahn’s NOW program this evening between 7:00 and 8:00 (central)." I missed it, of course, but am going to dig around the CNN website now.


Zan said...

Those Idiots on the TT forums are going "oh, it's suspicious that the DA is willing to cut a deal for lesser charges". Uh. No. That's pretty SOP, particularly when you're dealing with a large group of accused. But apparently, they're all taking it like it's some of Black Mafia over there, scaring all the Good White Folk. *sigh*

If you want to be overwhelmed with the urge to abandon La. forever, just go read those forums. I'm tempted to create an account just to tell those people off.

Unknown said...

This is so freaking stupid. The only reason they were offered any kind of "deal" on a plea was to try and ward off the freaking riot that is bound to take place. If this had been six white boys beat one black boy, they would still be screaming racism. Please! There is no way to please these godforsaken people and I am so sick of hearing how they are mistreated at every freaking turn. Get a life and get over it already!

elle said...

xtreme bitch, take your ass on

Unknown said...

As someone who actually LIVES in Jena I want to say that it is appalling to me that six students attacked one and made sure that no one could come to his aid. I don't care what race any of them were. It's terrible and there should be action taken. As far as the charges against the boy who attacked Bailey, I notice you didn't say that a group of SIX boys attacked Bailey. It's still not right and he does deserve to be punished also, but at least it wasn't six on one. It was a fair fight... one on one. There's no excuse for six people going after one person. ANYONE attacking another person deserves to face the consequences of their actions. Six on one says to me that there was intent to cause serious harm. This is not acceptable no matter what race you are.

Unknown said...

I believe they are deserve to be punished, but the punishment does not fit the crime. Ok when the white students started the racial pranks, what was doing? Suspension! Please give me a break. When several fights broke out before the beat down of the white boy. What happen to the white kid who started that fight? Did he get fucking charged with aggravated assault and battery. Hell no!! I believe they should all be punished the same. These are kids a fights do happen. If the city of Jena did not enforce racism, then we would not have this problem on our hands. Now would we? I do not live in Jena, but I was totally shocked that segregated schools still exist. We are in 2007 people. We need to stop the damn nonsense. We were all created equal in Gods eyes, the only thing thats different is all skin. Martin Luther King lost his life so we can be created equal. Are we just going to let all that go to waste. Life is to short for nonsense and Jena is full of nonsense right now. Free the Jena 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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